Sunday, December 07, 2008

Intelligent design falsified by cdesign proponentsists' intellligence decline

I have just finished watching a fascinating documentary on SBS, called Judgment Day, about how a bunch of weird Christian extremists tried to introduce stealth creationism into the science class of Dover High School as an alternative to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. This was obviously Dover, Pa, in the US, and not Dover, England. 

They called this stealth creationism Intelligent Design (ID).  Actually they didn't originally, they called it creationism, but obviously realised this would not fly in a science class with sharp students, so they rebadged it as ID — and gave it scientific trappings. It was part of a 20 year plan to make science (the gift that gives everyday)  subordinate to bible 'teachings' (the gift that gives every day... after you are dead).  All this was uncovered in the gruelling court case that followed, Kitzmiller v. Dover, along with the creationists' original planning document detailing the deception, The Wedge Strategy.

To cut a long story short, Judge John E. Jones III finally ruled that ID was an assault on the the US constitution because it ignored the first amendment, which provides for separation of religion and state. To prove this the prosecution had to establish that ID was originally a creationist theory, and this did this by subpoenaing all the drafts of the ID Trojan text-book, Of Pandas and People

Ironically, these drafts established evidence that the intent always was religiously motivated deception, such as the evolution of the term creation to Intelligent Design via search and replace. At least these creationists don't typeset in lead anymore. It was found there were approximately 150 uses of the root word "creation", such as "creationism" and "creationist", were systematically changed to refer to intelligent design. Definitions remained essentially the same, with "intelligent design" substituted for "creation", and "intelligent creator" changed to "intelligent agency." But, unfortunately for the god botherers, the final draft still contains vestigal organs evidencing these deceptions: The term "creationists" was changed to "design proponents", but in one case the beginning and end of the original word "creationists" were accidentally retained, so that "creationists" became "cdesign proponentsists".

The judge ruled againt them, and the rest is history. The poor bugger received death threats to himself and his family soon after, and now lives under federal protection. Charming, those so called Christians.

Watching the program, I was repeatedly reminded of the contemporary anti-science offence of AGW denial. One of the main claims AGW deniers make about AGW is that it is the new green faith — a religion.

Given the precedence that Kitzmiller v. Dover sets, you would think that cashed-up think-tanks in the US pushing AGW denial would at least attempt to prevent anthropogenic global warming from being taught in the science-class, and at least relegated to religion class.

But they won't. And, this indicates that they don't have the conviction.

 

Climate change tougher than Sydney roofs

Great!

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) called on the Federal and State governments to toughen the Building Code of Australia and address the problem of "brittle buildings".

It seems research conducted by Professor Alan Jeary, a structural design specialist from the University of Western Sydney's school of engineering, concludes that roofs tiles will not withstand the onslaught of a summer storm season. Sydney's present roofing materials - up to 75 per cent ceramic tile and 10 per cent slate - were easily damaged by relatively minor hail storms.

In the past 20 years, Sydney has been hit by five significant hailstorms, which have caused more than $6 billion damage. Climate change research indicates that the problems could get much worse.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

AGW deniers desperate in their death throws.

Desmogblog asks why we have seen such a flurry of activity from the global warming denial lobby, lately:

Barack Obama has promised to lead the nation in a massive climate intervention and reengage with the international community on climate change. The past weeks have also seen progressive environmentalist Rep. Henry Waxman take over as chairman of the House Energy and Environment Committee and Senator Barbara Boxer announce plans to introduce two major climate bills early next year. The first hearing that she will hold in January will be titled, "How Fighting Global Warming is Good for the Economy and Will Create Jobs."

In other words, the deniers are gearing up for yet another fight against reality--this time, political reality as much as scientific reality. Unlike President George W. Bush, who at best played the role of apathetic substitute teacher to the United States, President-elect Obama is preparing to lay down the law.  He’s made it clear that our planetary fever will be taken seriously under his watch.


It's not worth underestimating these guys. Afterall -- with big fossil-fuel backing them, it's clear they aren't running out of cash anytime soon. 

Andrew Bolt: The climate concerned are Nazis

Andrew Bolt reckons "the Global Day of Climate Action, which, to judge from this Friends of the Earth ad requires greenshirts to stage rallies eerily similar to the ones once seen at Nuremberg".



What an uncut dick-head! What a prize scumbag this Andrew Bolt is. Only he can be flippant about 6 million murdered Jews and Gypsies, and 80 million dead all up. Put it down to the evidential success of his self-lobotomy.

Here we see the outcome of the operation -- watch closely as he misinterprets a straight-forward graph: 

UPDATE



And with sea levels now refusing to rise, too, I guess the Rudd Government can ice its policy and plans to take in the Tuvalu islanders as “environmental refugees”. 

See, lobotomy successful. What? More proof, I hear you say:

UPDATE 2

Global warming theory is still being questioned, despite the efforts of the mainstream media and the Left to declare the debate closed. From a new study published in Climate Dynamics:

Evidence is presented that the recent worldwide land warming has occurred largely in response to a worldwide warming of the oceans rather than as a direct response to increasing greenhouse gases (GHGs) over land… Although not a focus of this study, the degree to which the oceans themselves have recently warmed due to increased GHG, other anthropogenic, natural solar and volcanic forcings, or internal multi-decadal climate variations is a matter of active investigation.

And in news just at hand, Bolt's demonstrated ability to survive without a brain has thrown the whole medical ethical area of when to turn off a life-support system into chaos.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Monday, December 01, 2008

Oceans cooling. Not.

A common misconception about measuring global warming, one that deniers prey upon, is that the average global temperature is the whole story. Ergo, if the last ten years of lower atmosphere temperatures plateau, the warming must have stopped, so the meme goes... on and on.

No so, according to Josh Willis, a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory who specialises in estimating how much heat the ocean stores annually:

"The oceans are absorbing more than 80 percent of the heat from global warming,” he says. "If you aren’t measuring heat content in the upper ocean, you aren’t measuring global warming."

And so goes a fascinating NASA Earth Observatory feature story of how a conundrum facing scientists, that climate models predicting rising ocean temperatures mismatched observations, was solved.

Cheney grounded $100 million climate satellite

Desmogblog is right into the unfolding story of the Bush Administration's interference with NASA's climate science research. This time it is allegations of Cheney's hand in the mothballing of the DSCOVR satellite question :

An unnamed source within NASA intimately familiar with the mothballed Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) mission spoke to Desmog Blog on the condition of anonymity.

The story is incredible.

The big question has always been: who would want to kill a $100 million fully completed climate satellite that has sat in a box since the 2000 presidential election - even though dozens of leading scientists have demanded it be launched?

“Apparently Cheney was the hatchet man”, said the source. “Bush tried the keep his hands clean so he didn’t actually have direct involvement. It almost reminds me of the way Nixon used to operate…He assigned Cheney to be the hatchet man job on DSCOVR… Bush’s fingerprints weren’t on it but Cheney’s were… That’s what we heard through the grapevine.”

All allegations, though. No nitty gritty yet. Watch this space.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Obama wins the US elocution

I'm sure I am not the only one outside the US who has become fixated on US President-elect Barrack Hussain Obama. I was one of the lucky few who survived the long, long US election media flood by simply ignoring it all. But tuning into the thrilling finish has wet my appetite for more about Obama. The confluence of an historic presidential choice by the US electorate, a global financial crisis of historic proportions, and unprecedented climate change, is a compelling backdrop for a man who comfortably shoulders an aura of history-in-the-making.

And, apart from enjoying his obvious magnetism, it's refreshing to hear a US President-elect speak in complete sentences, let alone grammatically correct ones. It's a big addition to their international relations skill-set. Having your subjects and verbs in agreement is a must-have in a multilateral world.

But, it is Obama's vision to tackle the economic crisis by investing in projects for decarbonising their economy that is disarming the cynic in me. If there is any up-side to the world economic down-side currently being experienced, it is that this crisis represents our best opportunity to make the transition to a carbon-neutral world. It is serendipitous that those from the biggest economy are finally making noises about taking up a leadership role the rest of the world has been crying out for. Given the immensity of the task ahead, and the fact that we have to make the transition at some point, there is no better financial climate than now.

Reassuringly, Obama confirmed that he gets it by using his second Internet address as President-elect to outline his vision of rescuing the economy by rebuilding it.

Jan 20. Bring it on!

UPDATE
In a piece for posterity, just recorded for the library of the Congress and a Bush Presidency museum, lies the mangled wreckage of President Bush's construction, poignantly mirroring his record: "I'd like to be a president, as somebody who liberated 50 million people and helped achieve peace,".

Two unfinished wars, one financial crisis, one world's largest government-subsidised housing-project, eight years of US paralysis on global warming agreement, and a hanging clause later we have this plaintiff outro.

Readers will think I hate the guy. I don't. I'm sure I would respond warmly in his presence, he seems like that kind of guy.

But presidential material? In the old days the head nodding refrain would have been 'only in America', but these are newer, hopeful days.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

EPA ruling gives Obama clean slate to build the clean economy

Breaking news at Desmogblog. Kevin Grandia is as surprised as I:

Wow. A decision by the Environmental Protection Agency today has ruled that all new and proposed coal-fired power plants must have their carbon dioxide emissions regulated.

The implications are very opportune, according to John Spalding, attorney of the Sierra Club, who successfully prosecuted the case:

Today’s decision opens the way for meaningful action to fight global warming and is a major step in bringing about a clean energy economy. This is one more sign that we must begin repowering, refueling and rebuilding America. The EAB rejected every Bush Administration excuse for failing to regulate the largest source of greenhouse gases in the United States. This decision gives the Obama Administration a clean slate to begin building our clean energy economy for the 21st century.

How very opportune. What a gift for the Obama Administration. The times, they are a changing.

 

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Foole is Dead. Long live the King!

Barrack Hussein Obama delivered a fine acceptance speech on becoming President Elect. So said my goosebumps. Very powerful stuff.

It was the first time I had seen and heard more than a soundbite of Obama's famed oratory — two avoidance years plus eighteen listening minutes, and I then knew why he has this reputation. Compelling cadence, great words, good looks, and authoritative body language make him a gifted messenger with a welcomed message.

His message was simple: CHANGE. Delivered with pathos, and ethos, in clear English, President Elect Obama's fine words made for a heady brew after all the dissembling, and disemvoweling of the drawled-out, last, eight, years. At last a man of stature, not swagger, to represent the US to the outside world.

Yet the flip side of getting carried away with Obama is just as good... George Bush and his neocon, crony-capitalist climate-wrecking, with-us-or-against-us, terror-obsessed, bellicose, pugilistic agenda... are all gone come Jan 20. As the Dog's Bollocks kindly puts it, "Bye Bye Bushites!"

Praise the Lord and pass the whiskey! The election of Barrack Obama to President of the United States marks the end of the toxic neocon dream - we don’t react to reality – we create reality. The Bush Administration has been the most grotesque in US history. The foxes had finally taken over the hen-house. It was bound to end in tears, and so it has. To use some Bushite vernacular – it has been the mother of all clusterfucks.

I cannot recall a single redeeming feature of the Bush Administration, let alone three. The littany of policy disasters is mind boggling both in extent and all-encompassing range. Begun by stealing the 2000 election, to the cronyism of putting Monsanto in charge of the EPA and Halliburton in charge of the administration. Deficit creating tax cuts for the uber-wealthy – the golden boys and girls of the ponzi financial schemes and scams. Two ill-advised and botched invasions which have done nothing but breed support for Al Q’aida and run up trillion dollar budget deficits. Hurricane Katrina. The failure to plan for energy efficiency, preferring instead to wage war on oil rich dictatorships under the guise of spreading democracy and liberation, all the while enriching the coffers of Halliburton and Bush’s oil cronies. The cultivation of Christian Fundamentalists within the Administration and lobby industry while undermining the fundamental principles of the US constitution in the name of an apocalyptic Never-Ending War on Terror.

All finished off with the mother of all financial distasters when the ponzi schemes collapsed – products of the great freemarket experiment allowing the proliferation of unregulated financial systems that no-one really understood. The undoing of which almost resulted in a global meltdown, narrowly averted only by massive injections of liquidity from the public purse.

To be fair, GWB's focus on Africa is a bit redeeming, and Iraq might limp home to proper democracy in 20 years. But Jesus, what a way to do it. Worst of all is his war on climate science, and his fossil fuel agenda. You fuck with reality, and it will come back and bite you hard on the arse.

Nah, there's nothing much redeeming about Bush, unless you do comedy for a living.

Two unfinished wars, two bubbles, and two recessions. Bye bye Bushites. History will, like the world did, just shake it's head at how a hegemon handed over it's moral authority for the next contender to step-up. For the last eight years we've been head-shaking. Is US democracy that malign?

Now here's Obama, American dream incarnate, stepping up to reclaim that moral authority by hitting all the right notes about embracing the global challenges that befall us, including climate change.

Even his name, Barrack, Blessed; What a fabulous story so far. We have yet to see how he goes, but right now I am hooked. I have hope. It's Mandela all over again, this time it's not my old country, but the world that needs to be brought back from the precipice.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

CCS — Use It Or Lose It

One of the most compelling chapters in the PBS Frontline 2-hour special on global warming that aired earlier this week was the segment on America's Addiction to Coal.
PBS dives headfirst into the myth of clean coal and pretty much tears it apart using something we don't often see these days when it come US energy issues: facts.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pay the deniers, call the tune

frankbi of the International Journal of Inactivism is onto something:

So, what prompted me to write the above long-winded complaint was a page on the Heartland Institute’s web site, on how people can sponsor their upcoming climate inactivist conference. It’s the kind of jaw-dropping thing that made me think, “Oy, why am I the one writing about this?...

I blogged about their program, earlier. But, with none of the intrepid reportage of citizen frankbi:

Yep, you read that right. First, sponsors will have a hand in deciding what the topics of the conference will be. I must say — my friends — this is totally above and beyond what actual serious scientific conferences do! (My experience is that the conference organizers will just give them some booth space to tout their stuff and recruit folks, and perhaps a time slot for them to talk about their fine work.)

Second, note that there’s no fee for sponsorship — yes, no fee — but “sponsors” are asked to spread the word about the conference and to get people to attend. That is, Heartland is looking for sponsorship not in the form of money, but in the form of noise. The more noise, the merrier.

And… one other thing: According to the registration information for the conference, there’s a 20% registration fee discount for signers of the “Oregon Petition”. I still can’t tell what Heartland’s trying to achieve with this move.


They can use their Frequent Denier's point.

 

Arctic melt season post mortem

From The National Snow and Ice Data Center:

2 October 2008

Arctic Sea Ice Down to Second-Lowest Extent; Likely Record-Low Volume

Despite cooler temperatures and ice-favoring conditions, long-term decline continues

Arctic sea ice extent during the 2008 melt season dropped to the second-lowest level since satellite measurements began in 1979, reaching the lowest point in its annual cycle of melt and growth on September 14, 2008. Average sea ice extent over the month of September, a standard measure in the scientific study of Arctic sea ice, was 4.67 million square kilometers (1.80 million square miles) (Figure 1). The record monthly low, set in 2007, was 4.28 million square kilometers (1.65 million square miles); the now-third-lowest monthly value, set in 2005, was 5.57 million square kilometers (2.15 million square miles).

The 2008 season strongly reinforces the thirty-year downward trend in Arctic ice extent. The 2008 September low was 34% below the long-term average from 1979 to 2000 and only 9% greater than the 2007 record (Figure 2). Because the 2008 low was so far below the September average, the negative trend in September extent has been pulled downward, from –10.7 % per decade to –11.7 % per decade (Figure 3).

NSIDC Senior Scientist Mark Serreze said, “When you look at the sharp decline that we’ve seen over the past thirty years, a ‘recovery’ from lowest to second lowest is no recovery at all. Both within and beyond the Arctic, the implications of the decline are enormous.”


 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Get in early for a breakthrough in AGW Denial

program

last updated: October 13, 2008

Where and When

The 2009 International Conference on Climate Change will take place in New York City on March 8-10, 2009 (Sunday - Tuesday), at the Marriott New York Marquis Times Square Hotel, 1535 Broadway, New York, NY.

There will be four tracks of panel discussions:

1. Paleoclimatology
2. Climatology
3. Impact of Climate Change
4. Economics and Politics

Or maybe no breakthrough next year. Maybe just the same tired old speakers with the same tired old self-contradictory, cherry-picking arguements...

Confirmed Speakers

NameAffiliation
Dennis AveryHudson Institute
Joseph BastThe Heartland Institute
Robert BradleyInstitute for Energy Research
Bob CarterJames Cook University (Australia)
Frank ClementePenn State University
John ColemanKUSI-TV - San Diego
Joseph D'AleoInternational Climate and Environmental Change Assessment Project
David DouglassUniversity of Rochester
Myron EbellCompetitive Enterprise Institute
Michelle FossUniversity of Texas - Center for Energy Economics
Fred GoldbergRoyal School of Technology (Sweden)
Laurence GouldUniversity of Hartford
William GrayColorado State University
Chris HornerCompetitive Enterprise Institute
Craig IdsoCenter for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
David LegatesUniversity of Delaware
Jay LehrThe Heartland Institute
Marlo LewisCompetitive Enterprise Institute
Richard LindzenMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Ross McKitrickUniversity of Guelph
Christopher MoncktonScience and Public Policy Institute
Jim O'BrienFlorida State University
Tim PattersonCarleton University
Benny PeiserLiverpool John Moores University (United Kingdom)
Paul ReiterInstitut Pasteur (France)
Arthur RobinsonOregon Institute of Science and Medicine
Joel SchwartzAmerican Enterprise Institute
S. Fred SingerScience and Environmental Policy Project
Fred SmithCompetitive Enterprise Institute
Willie SoonScience and Public Policy Project
Roy SpencerUniversity of Alabama at Huntsville
James M. TaylorThe Heartland Institute
Anthony WattsSurfacestations.org

 

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Desmogblog on election climate politics

Australia had it's green election ten months ago, and the new government signed the Kyoto Protocol as their first act . They transformed us from pariah to trier in one stroke, and today we had the Garnaut report released, recommending 10% emissions reductions by 2020, or 25% in the event of a workable international consensus at Copenhagen.

So that's one of the big three per-capita emitters on the right path. Good luck, Canada, and the US
clipped from www.desmogblog.com

New DeSmog Site Clears Election Pollution


29 Sep 08

Go to Elections.Desmogblog.com for News and Analysis

Election fever has captured the U.S. and Canada simultaneously and the outcome of these two contests may affect the future of humankind more critically than any previous elections in this history of either country.

Given the recent (i.e. George Bush-induced) climate policy in the United States, U.S. voters are choosing between one candidate (John McCain) who is better than the last guy and one who may actually show leadership on this, the most important environmental issue in human history.

The situation is more clear cut - if more dire - in Canada.
Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has made it clear that his most important constituents are the people who want unfettered rights to develop the tar sands - environmental consequences be damned.
Elections.DesmogBlog.com will help you analyse the position of all the leading candidates.
 blog it

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Oreskes outs Nierenberg

Story so far: Ronald Regan does not like the first three climate science reports provided by the government's elite scientific advisory group, the Jasons. But he like the fourth. It was synthesised by Bill Nierenberg, a Jason who had worked on the Manhattan project.

So bringing us into the now, to history in the making, is Naomi Oreskes, of 'consensus' fame as she dissects how Bill Nierenberg synthesised his 1983 report to give civilisation the first tenets of US government climate change denial:

From Chicken Little to Dr. Pangloss: William Nierenberg, Global Warming, and the Social Deconstruction of Scientific Knowledge
Oreskes, Conway, Shindell.


Atmoz has been following the thread, as has Eli Rabett.

Life's Good and Do No Evil to power low-carbon grid

clipped from www.worldwatch.org
The recently announced alliance between technology giants General Electric and Google may provide the lobbying arsenal necessary for the U.S. to overhaul an outdated electric grid widely considered as a barricade to a low-carbon future.


The collaboration brings together two industry leaders with significant investments in U.S. renewable energy. Their focus on electricity infrastructure may stimulate improvements in transmission efficiency and utility access to clean energy sources, industry observers said.


The companies' early messages indicate support for more national leadership. "The current regulatory and economic model is failing to drive the innovation and investment we need in today's electric grid," a joint statement said [PDF]. "We will work to overcome regulatory and institutional barriers, and advocate for appropriate incentives."

 blog it

Woah there Putin, woah, easy boy


Michael Tobias explores Sarah Palin's ability to portray foreign leaders in animal terms, and her appreciation of geography.

Palin:"it's very important when you consider even national security issueswith Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the airspace of theUnited States of America, where, where do they go? It's Alaska. It'sjust right over the border."

...

Tobias: But if Putin were to actually visit Washington DC or the UN in NewYork, he would pass near or over Iceland and then enter US airspace inNew England, no doubt rearing his head menacingly all the while.

I guess never having had a passport means you are not really the type to pour over air corridor maps in your free-time. Or even appreciate where your country's main airports are. Didn't America just re-elect a President who had never or hardly been out of the country before? And look at the mess he made.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Summer will be an erratic El Nino and La Nina sandwich

clipped from www.smh.com.au

After the coldest winter in a decade, weather experts are warning Sydney to expect an erratic summer.

Veteran weatherman and director of Weatherwatch Don White said people should expect the mercury to soar and sink this year, with temperatures in the Pacific Ocean indicating that the region is in a flux between El Nino and La Nina events.

"We should be looking for the above average temperatures
[throughout spring and summer] but that might include some quite
hot spells and some quite cold spells," he said.

Sydney is expecting a warmer than usual spring, with temperatures again expecting to break 30 degrees by the weekend.

Bureau of Meteorology climate officer Mike de Salis said the mercury plunged most in August.

The average maximum temperature was 17.3 degrees, more than half a degree lower than the average and the coldest monthly average since 1989.

The average maximum temperature throughout the three winter months was the lowest since 1998.

 blog it

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Global warming — bad guys found at last

The science on global warming is so clear that it's hard to understand why the public doesn't push the politicians to pass the laws necessary for our preservation.

But, as a species we do not respond to changes on a geological time-scale, even those as rapid as our anthropocene. We can intellectualise the threat of climate change, but it takes a visceral threat, say - a bushfire, to move us into survival mode.

We can be moved to action by moral threat, as Howard showed us when we stood firm against invading refugee fleets armed with nothing but children for projectiles. We weren't going to let them tell us how they were going to come into the country. No sir. Howard skilfully turned those poor refugees into the bad-guys by suggesting they use their children to evoke our sympathy.

The problem with climate change, in terms of generating public outrage, is that it had no 'bad guys'. There is no identifiable moral threat oil companies represent, considering...

Until now. NY Times reports:

Sex, Drug Use and Graft Cited in Interior Department

WASHINGTON — As Congress prepares to debate expansion of drilling in taxpayer-owned coastal waters, the Interior Department agency that collects oil and gas royalties has been caught up in a wide-ranging ethics scandal — including allegations of financial self-dealing, accepting gifts from energy companies, cocaine use and sexual misconduct.

In three reports delivered to Congress on Wednesday, the department’s inspector general, Earl E. Devaney, found wrongdoing by a dozen current and former employees of the Minerals Management Service, which collects about $10 billion in royalties annually and is one of the government’s largest sources of revenue other than taxes.

A culture of ethical failure” pervades the agency, Mr. Devaney wrote in a cover memo.

The reports portray a dysfunctional organization that has been riddled with conflicts of interest, unprofessional behavior and a free-for-all atmosphere for much of the Bush administration’s watch.

The highest-ranking official criticized in the reports is Lucy Q. Denett, the former associate director of minerals revenue management, who retired earlier this year as the inquiry was progressing.


Never mind the intergenerational accumulating existentialist threat to the species these folk are perpetrating, what about the sex, drugs and graft renting at the very moral fabric of our society? They are the types of people who would throw their children overboard. You just know it.

Here's a report from the Globe and Mail: Sex, drugs, oil and gas


Sarah "Shapeshifter" Palin's climate change change


From this audio of a long letter of a disgruntled Alaskan, who claims to know Sarah Palin — minus lipstick — we learn that she does not believe that man-made global warming is shrinking the habitat of polar bears. Ergo, legislation protecting their habitat — from oil extraction — should be overturned.

That's from before she was thrust into the public spotlight (and into dissonance with McCain's stance). But Desmogblog now detects a subtle shift in stance:

... show me where I've said there's absolute proof that nothing that man has ever conducted or engaged in has had any effect or no effect on climate change. I have not said that. I have said that my belief is there is a cyclical nature of our planet — warming trends, cooling trends — I'm not going to argue scientists, because I believe in science and have such a great respect for what they are telling us. I'm not going to disagree with the point that they make that man's activities can be attributed to changes."

The denial lobby are boning her up as we read this. Count on it.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Australians would dig deep to fight climate change

Good news for the government implementing an ETS. We won't stand in your way (but woe betide it turns out trust is misplaced).

A MAJOR survey of Australians' views on climate change has found an overwhelming majority think it is happening and they're prepared to pay to address it.

The study by University of Technology Sydney found Australians wanted to see cuts in the nation's greenhouse gas emissions irrespective of the actions of other countries.

The key findings include that 83.7 per cent believed global warming was occurring and, of those, 84.9 per cent said Australia should proceed with an emissions trading scheme (ETS) regardless of the international response. "The bottom line from this study is that Australians think now is the time to adopt a climate change program that has some real teeth," visiting economics professor at UTS Richard Carson said.

"They believe that climate change will cause serious problems in Australia and elsewhere in the world, and they understand there will be sizeable cost going along with it."


We want the revenue an ETS will earn, to help low-income earners cope with the changes, and middle income earners want the GST reduced. Will it be an unnecessary tax, after the cost of pollution becomes a production input?

An interesting question about the role of government arises. Is it more efficient to tax consumption, or 'externalities', that is, the social cost of pollution.

And most want 20 percent of the ETS revenue to be dedicated to climate change R&D.

Professor Carson said 58.7 per cent of participants supported spending 20 per cent of ETS revenues on R & D, in keeping with a recommendation of the Rudd Government-commissioned Garnaut Review.

"The public clearly favours spending 20 per cent of the money on R & D … even though we told them that if they did that they would redistribute less money to the public," he said.

"That shows the Australians are very forward-looking, they see it as a long-term problem and the R & D efforts will help them get over the hump."

Survey participants' views were also sought on the different government plans and opposition policies to tackle climate change.

A majority (57.1 per cent) supported the government's plan to begin emissions trading from 2010 over the Liberals' later 2012 start date.

Participants were quizzed on their political leanings and Professor Carson said Green and Labor voters were more likely to favour the government's plan.

Interestingly, more than half (53 per cent) of Liberal-aligned survey participants also favoured the earlier 2010 ETS start date instead of official policy held by the Federal Opposition.

Views were split on whether transport should be exempt for the first three years of the ETS - with just over half (50.6 per cent) for the move to temporarily delay price increases at the petrol bowser.

The study, entitled Survey on Controlling Greenhouse Gases, was conducted by the UTS Centre for the Study of Choice.

Professor Carson is a Professor of Economics at the University of California and is a Visiting Distinguished Professor at the UTS.


These figures are consistent with other surveys. If this survey gets media traction, it's the death-knell for the AGW denial industry.

Hurrican Gustav to test Obama/Biden, McCain/Palin

The damage wrought by Hurricane Katrina also ruined Bush. A point clearly not lost on all presidential candidates as they prepare to respond to the 'certain political fallout' claimed for Gustav:

Republican White House hopeful John McCain and running-mate Sarah Palin will Sunday ditch their pre-convention plans and visit people in Mississippi bracing for deadly Hurricane Gustav.

The visit comes as the fearsome category four storm's approach overshadowed the buildup to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota on Monday, and stirred memories of the botched response to Hurricane Katrina exactly three years ago.


Katrina is still affecting the GOP.

Earlier, in an interview to be broadcast on Fox News Sunday, McCain suggested he might go as far as suspending the convention, if the storm turned into a huge human tragedy on the par with Katrina.

"It wouldn't be appropriate to have a festive occasion while a near tragedy or a terrible challenge is presented in the form of a national disaster.

"So we're monitoring it from day-to-day and I'm saying a few prayers, " he said.

..

Forecasters said the storm could hit top category five force as it moved toward the US Gulf Coast for a direct hit Monday or Tuesday. In any case, "Gustav is forecast to remain a major hurricane through landfall along the northern Gulf coast," the US National Hurricane Center said.


Obama is keeping weather eye out as well.

Will the fallout involve a discussion on the US's response to combating global warming?

Mother of all storms bearing down on New Orleans

Remember Hurricane Katrina, hitting New Orleans this time to the day three years ago?

Mayor Ray Nagin hopes so, invoking her name by omission.

New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin has ordered the city emptied tomorrow in the face of "the storm of the century", warning anyone that stays behind that they are on their own.

"I am announcing today mandatory evacuation of New Orleans starting 8am Sunday (2300 Sunday AEST) on the West bank," Nagin said at a press conference. "We want everybody... we want 100 per cent evacuation. If you decide to stay, you are on your own."

"This is the mother of all storms," Nagin said. "This storm is so powerful and growing more powerful every day that I'm not sure we've seen anything like it."

Nagin estimated that less than half of the city's population has left despite days of dire warnings.

"This is the real deal," Nagin said. "Riding this storm out would be one of the biggest mistakes you could make in your life."

Nagin said police, fire and other emergency personnel are being pulled from the city to safer areas. A "skeleton crew" of fewer than 50 city workers will be left behind, according to officials.

Hurricane Gustav is on course to crash ashore near New Orleans. Nagin told anyone planning to stay behind to "make sure you have an axe because you will be busting your way out to get on your roof with waters surrounding you."

Gustav has left around 85 people dead in Caribbean nations.

In 2005, New Orleans was hammered by Hurricane Katrina which caused widespread flooding and left tens of thousands of people homeless.


While there is temporal symmetry with Hurricane Katrina there have been fewer hurricanes this year, or hurricane season is late.

How about those freaks who are staying?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Google Insights for Search on al gore, global warming, climate change

Google Insights for Search (GIS) is Google's latest functionette on offer. It is fascinating, but not all it could be. More like a tease.

GIS provides a graphical output for up to five search terms. Numbers on the graph reflect how many searches have been done for a particular term, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. They don't represent absolute search volume numbers, because the data is normalized and presented on a scale from 0-100; each point on the graph is divided by the highest point, or 100.

So away I went, plugging in two terms, global warming; and climate change for parameters, worldwide, and for all recorded time (2004 - present).

Interesting graph (I also chucked in Al Gore). GIS also scales countries of the world. Here's the top ten countries sorted on global warming.

Top regions for global warming

Region al gore global warming climate change
Indonesia 19 100 25
Philippines 41 77 29
India 18 76 27
South Africa 37 69 43
Australia 47 54 80
United States 100 51 19
New Zealand 38 49 56
Singapore 36 43 29
Canada 63 42 37
Kenya 0 39 100

Still, it's a cool tool.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Aussie solar generation — where are you?

Casting around me in Sydney to see what our suburban twenty+ year olds are into today, and well, it seems to be, well,.... themselves only. iPoded up (it's not called the usPod, is it?) they listen long enough to think of what they are going to say next when in conversation.

My question: It's your future, where's the protest over the mismanagement of your environmental inheritance? The younger you are, the more you have at stake, I would have thought.

Not so in India with SolarGeneration.

Solar Generation India is a part of the Solar Generation, an international group of young people working in creative ways to demand 'Clean Energy Now!' We started as a group in the early months of 2005; February 16th, to be precise. There were about 60 students at the time of our first organized concert against climate change and since then we've moved on. From one tree to another- for those who saw our tree top concert Now we have support groups at 20 colleges in Bangalore and Hyderabad and well wishers at Cochin as well. We have a long way to go. Also, we are a bit more organized- not in the dangerous sense of the word which it proposes to be- quintessentially, more together....and we would like to leave things there! We have around 15 member in the core group and quite a number of volunteers who are there at crisis times. We have much to do and much to give back...

Good luck. Their modus operandi seems to be bearing witness to local impacts of climate change, and in this post they film the results of sea-level rise, and 'ecogees' that have fled Orissa on the east coast of India, near the Bay of Bengal.

Investigating Solar Generation further I find that Greenpeace is behind it, and it was launched in 2003:

Solar Generation taking their future in their own hands

Solar Generation is made up of young people from all over the world taking action against climate change and calling for a clean energy future. Solar Generation, initiated by Greenpeace in 2003, is now active in Germany, Switzerland, France, China, Thailand, the Philippines, India, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Indonesia, Togo, Kenya, Uganda, US and Australia

The number of countries involved in Solar Generation is rapidly growing. All around the world, we are showing that change is possible and you can make it happen yourself.

Waiting quietly for politicians to act is not an option; Solar Generation are taking the future into our own hands.

Here are just a couple of examples of our achievements and activities:

  • Convincing several universities in the US and Australia to start purchasing clean energy and installing solar panels
  • Involved in over 120 solar panel installation projects in Switzerland
  • Solar Generation member Abigail from the Philippines gave the opening speech at the Renewables 2004 Conference
  • Celebrated the Kyoto Protocol entering into force with activities worldwide.


Solar Generation raise public awareness about climate change and the solutions and move politicians to act. Solar Generation organise solar powered concerts and hand out information about our work at other concerts.

We also install solar panels, support energy efficiency and start discussions in our universities. We show that action against climate change works: "While politicians are still talking, we are getting active!"

You can do something too!

Are you interested in starting a Solar Generation Group and getting active in your own country? Look at the bottom of this page for the email of your local contact person or check out the websites from where you live.

Is your country not on the list?

Send an email to our international office and see what the possibilities are of starting a Solar Generation campaign in your country.


The answer to that is no. Though I note that some universities have had solar installed and are purchasing clean energy.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Climate science, the public, and the Whiplash Effect

Andrew Dressler of the Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University spent time as a Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. While there, he became extremely interested in how science gets used in policy decisions. He has published The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change: A Guide to the debate (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2006).

In a new post he discusses the whiplash effect that the public experience because of the nature of science, as postulated by Andy Revkin in The New York Times.

When science is testing new ideas, the result is often a two-papers-forward-one-paper-back intellectual tussle among competing research teams.

When the work touches on issues that worry the public, affect the economy or polarize politics, the news media and advocates of all stripes dive in. Under nonstop scrutiny, conflicting findings can make news coverage veer from one extreme to another, resulting in a kind of journalistic whiplash for the public.

Dressler says an 'understanding of how science works sheds a lot of light on this problem'.

If one focuses on the turbulent interface, science always looks uncertain because, by definition, the turbulent interface exists where the science is uncertain.

Because the turbulent interface is the focus of the scientific community, it is also, unfortunately or not, the focus of the media. And this can give the general public a view of science that is more uncertain than reality.

In climate change science, there is lots that we don't know. We don't know with precision how precipitation will change as the climate warms, or how climate change will vary from one region to another over the next century, or exactly how clouds and aerosols affect each other, etc.

One should not take this to mean that our knowledge of the climate is poor. In fact, our understanding of the climate is quite good. We know that greenhouse gases warm our planet. We know that changing greenhouse gases have been associated with changing climate on most timescales over the last hundred million years at least. We also know that humans are increasing the abundance of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Given the paleoclimate record, as well as simulations from climate models, we can expect warming of several degrees Celsius over the next century if atmospheric greenhouse gas abundance continues to grow throughout this century.

Since these observations are well known, they are generally not at the center of the scientific debate. Rather, the scientific community is working to expand our understanding of the details of the theory of climate.

The whiplash effect does not work in isolation, but is reinforced by the denial industry and their agenda of pushing "uncertainty."

The ultimate solution is for the general public to become more savvy about how science works. Arguments about Greenland ice melts should not cast doubt on the fundamental certainty of climate change. In the meantime, I'm not terribly optimistic that things will improve.

I'm not sure how to take that last line. It sure sounds glum.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

LOLdenialists pr-revus teh klimit siens

Tim Lambert has posted submissions to LOLdenialists, a bit of fun. L. Ron Bolt cops it again, this time from Gummo Trotsky, for his insistence that his HadCRUT 'cooling since 2002 ' has significance. Itz teh underling tend, stewpid, by moi. Nexus 6's brilliant Global Warmin LOL is there plus a little dig at Littlemore LOL, and Stefan's Phlogiston is a riot. And there's more...

All good LOLs, and contagious. I went again...



Klik 4 wot strtd me on LOLdenialists.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Explain

clipped from thoughtsonglobalwarming.blogspot.com

explain to future generations

"Found on a city street..

via :: Flickr

blog it

Hansen — Mankind now controls climate

Set aside an hour for yourself, and hear it from Dr James Hansen



C/o 回転ドア Revolving Doors

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James Hanson tips cold water on sun theory

This takes The Great Global Warming Swindle down with it...
clipped from www.desmogblog.com

In another section of his recent "trip report " (see "westling" post below), James Hansen, head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, answers in careful but fairly accessible detail, the question of whether the sun can reasonably be blamed for recent global warming.

His conclusion:

Thus if the sun remains “out”, i.e., stuck for a long period in the current solar minimum, it can offset only about 7 years of CO2 increase. The human-made greenhouse gas climate forcing is now relentlessly, monotonically, increasing at a rate that overwhelms variability of natural climate forcings. Unforced variability of global temperature is great, as shown in Figure 4, but the global temperature trend on decadal and longer time scales is now determined by the larger human-made climate forcing. Speculation that we may have entered a solar-driven long-term cooling trend must be dismissed as a pipe-dream.

 blog it

Monday, August 18, 2008

LOLdenialists goes vrial

My entry... LOLlronbolt


Inspired by Tim Lambert, who was inspired by Jennifer Ouellette of Cocktail Party Physics who came up with LOLdenialists.

Update: Thread has been picked up by Nexus 6, who is always good for a laugh



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Monckton vs. Littlemore Debate audio

Monckton vs. Littlemore Debate audio

Monckton vs Littlemore Debate audio

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ratS delgnapS rennaB

Unbelievable.


Rice looks shocked.

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60 Minutes in denial over climate change

In the 60 Minutes story on climate change denial called Crunch Time, Rudd came off like he needs media-training on the issue.

PM KEVIN RUDD: I'm not going to lie to you and say this is going to be cost free. This is a tough decision, we need to take it for the country's long-term future and its long-term economic future. But economic cost of not acting is massive, it's through the roof. Think about food production, the Murray, think about the impact on tourism in QLD, no more Barrier Reef, Kakadu, no more Kakadu. Think about the impact on jobs, it's huge.

TARA BROWN: How certain are you that mankind is the cause behind global warming?

PM KEVIN RUDD: Well, I just look at what the scientists say. There's a group of scientists called the International Panel on Climate Change - 4000 of them. Guys in white coats who run around and don't have a sense of humour. They just measure things. And what they say to us is it's happening and it's caused by human activity.


Kevin Rudd, you have the broad brush-strokes down well, but if you are going to deliver on your election promises to implement an ETS, and politically remain in a position to be able to do so, then you have to pay attention to the many niggling details.

Firstly, you don't want to lose your franchise with the voters who support the ETS and who do understand climate change. Secondly, you can't afford to give professional denialists like L. Ron Bolt any traction. Their product, doubt, is an easier sell than action to tackle an unseen threat. By way of exmple, here's Bolt swooping in: Rudd feels the heat on 60 Minutes.

PM KEVIN RUDD: Well, I just look at what the scientists say. There’s a group of scientists called the International Panel on Climate Change - 4000 of them.

No, it’s actually called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And no, there are not 4000 IPCC scientists. Try 2500, instead. Rudd is lucky that this exaggeration wasn’t picked up by Brown. What’s more, a number of those 2500 don’t stand by the IPCC conclusion on man’s effect on the climate. Many others were not even consulted over the report’s bottom-line finding.


One mistake, and L Ron pounces, then thows red meat to his flying monkeys, to rip apart, who affirm these denialist talking point just as they have been programmed to.

Andrew Bolt is incorrect in his correcting Rudd, strictly speaking. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC is essentially the world's largest review of peer-review climate-science research by a panel of UN goverment member representatives and World Meterolical Organisation (WMO) scientists. They draw on the research of 2500 climate scientists.

In short, the IPCC reports on the body of scientific literature produced by 2500 climate scientists to develop policy responses. It is right Mr Rudd (and Ms Wong before him) should state he relies on this, and he needs to say it clearly and simply.

Especially when 60 Minutes is doing a clear Denier's Special. Here they are balancing the scientific views of 2500 of specialist climate scientists, with the unscientific view of one computer program architect.

TARA BROWN: No doubt the ice is melting, but the big question is - are we to blame? The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change reports it is 90% certain we are. But other equally eminent scientists believe what were seeing is just part of Nature's great cycle.

DAVID EVANS: Now since 1990, western governments have spent about $50 billion looking for evidence that carbon causes global warming and they haven't found any.

TARA BROWN: Dr David Evans has six university degrees and once worked for the Australian Government's Greenhouse Office. But he no longer thinks global warming is caused by our carbon dioxide and so isn't concerned about his or any one else's carbon footprint. So does that mean don't give up your V8 cars? Does that mean continue flying, don't worry about changing light bulbs, don't worry about trying to capture carbon or shutting down coal-fired power stations? Is that what that means?


As his resume shows, David Evans was just a computer programmer at the AGO. 60 Minutes missed out reporting that detail in favour of blowing hot air up his balloon.


UPDATE
Desmogblog clear the air: Evans is a self-promoting computer geek, not a science geek.


Oh the gravitas you lend this code-cowboy, 60 Minutes. You should be ashamed.


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